Audi Quattro Winter Games New Zealand on the horizon
With Australia and New Zealand enjoying great winter conditions, the competition activity “down under” is also full swing. The Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ in Cardrona are approaching fast at the end of the month of August and many top athletes have already headed to New Zealand’s South Island to get in some high-quality training ahead of the upcoming event. The event has transitioned from taking place every two years since 2009 to annual Winter Games NZ as from the 5thedition in 2018.
With competitions set to take place in Freestyle Skiing, Snowboarding, Alpine Skiing and Cross-Country, as well as a slew of other winter sports, the Winter Games NZ are New Zealand’s largest recurring sports event. In addition, Australia New Zealand Cups at different locations are scheduled for Alpine, Cross-Country, Freestyle and Snowboard.
Snowboard & Freestyle: big highlights coming up
The Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ will mark both the final competitions of the 2017/18 season with the FIS Junior Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships 2018 and the first competitions of the 2018/19 season for Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski, with the big air FIS World Cup competitions opening the new one.
The FIS Junior World Championships in big air, ski and snowboard cross, slopestyle and halfpipe will commence on 24thAugust and conclude on 6th September 2018 in Cardrona, New Zealand, and will make up a large part of the sixth edition of the Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ.
Immediately following the Junior World Championships, and also part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games setup, Cardrona will then host the 2018/19 season start of the Snowboard and Freestyle World Cup tours, with big air competitions taking place on 7th September (Freeski) and 8th September (Snowboard).
Both the Freeski and Snowboard big air FIS World Cups are promising top-tier talent in the competition start lists, with names like PyeongChang 2018 Olympic big air gold medallist Anna Gasser (AUT), slopestyle gold medallist Red Gerard (USA), and Kiwi hero and slopestyle bronze medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synott (NZL) confirmed for the Snowboard event, and Sochi 2014 slopestyle gold medallist Dara Howell (CAN), PyeongChang 2018 slopestyle bronze medallist Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (CAN), and stylish star James Woods (GBR) all set for the Freeski competition.
Also part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ setup are Alpine Skiing Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) competitions in Coronet Peak, located a short 25-minute drive from downtown Queenstown, as the venue for slalom and giant slalom racing. Cross-Country interval, sprint and mass starts in classic and free technique complete the snow part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ setup in the FIS disciplines.
Additional sports on the programme are Curling, an Ice Hockey series between local sporting rivals, New Zealand and Australia and Freeride.
Many Australia New Zealand Cups planned
Following the major events in Cardrona, Freestyle and Freeski athletes will have chances to compete in more Australia New Zealand Cup slopestyle, halfpipe, ski cross, moguls and dual moguls events in the course of the southern hemisphere’s winter season with events taking place at the Australian venues of Falls Creek, Perisher, Mt. Buller and Mount Hotham.
Snowboarders will be in action in snowboard cross, slopestyle and halfpipe events at the same venues, while a slopestyle FIS-level competition at Perisher and the Mt. Hotham Snowboard Cross Australia New Zealand Cup were already completed at the end of July.
Cross-Country skiers have the chance to compete in Australia New Zealand Cups in Falls Creek (AUS) in August. Also popular races and the ski marathons of Kangaroo Hoppet and Merino Muster will be held at Falls Creek and Snow Farm in August and September.
For more about the Alpine programme, see this article.